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Hello there boys and girls! After several weeks of a self-imposed hiatus, I felt the time had come to dust off this particular Nutshell. The show, even without spoilers, promised to be a good one this week. Now’s as good a time as any to come back. Besides, with Christmas right around the corner, there will be a lot of returns coming, no? With that said, tonight gives us some good action-Io Shirai is in action in a tag team with Dakota Kai, as are Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. And in our epic NXT main event? It’s a steel cage match pitting Aleister Black against Johnny Gargano, with Tommaso Ciampa not far behind. Many happy returns indeed…let’s crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

OK, serious question…did ANYONE think the steel cage match wasn’t winning this? Anyone?

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Didn’t think so.

I mean, Gargano and Black are very good. Add a steel cage into the mix and it was a great show. The ending of course, is a wee bit of a cliffhanger too.

Worst match of the night:

Not so much “worst”, but least captivating. I get that it was Dijakovic’s big night, but it just didn’t entertain me. That said, I can see he’s going to be possibly someone to keep an eye on.

Star of the Night

Honestly, torn about this one. Gargano winning the main event kind of makes him the default choice here, but the performance wasn’t really screaming “star” to me. But, no other performances were close (in a winning effort). So, with that in mind, I do award it to Johnny Wrestling.

Spot of the Night:

Have to give it to Dominik Dijakovic’s finisher. Kind of like a G2S but with a torture rack to start it off. My only knock on it would be that the name is just too dang long.

A few good ones in the cage match, because, you know…it was a cage match. Gargano’s sunset flip power bomb, off the middle of the top rope? That was nuts.

Then we had the DIY finisher making a return. Weird to see it, considering that the former partners had a heated feud for most of 2018. Will be very curious to see if this leads to a reunion with Gargano embracing his heel tendencies.

Jobber of the Night:

Tonight we had a few choices. One would be Aaron Mackey. There was just no way Dijackovic was losing, and I think everyone in the arena knew it.

Then we had Heavy Machinery against a couple of jobbers whose names I didn’t even catch.

Upset of the Night:

None to report.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Gargano and Ciampa teaming up to deliver their old finisher to Aleister Black would do it. The finisher allowed Gargano to claim victory in the match, which was inside a cage.

Noteworthy Moment:

Tonight we got the in-ring NXT debut of two of the Four Horsewomen-Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. Unfortunately for them, it did not end in victory.

Overall lowlights:

For all the hype, I have to say that Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir did not impress. I expected them to be more polished when they made their TV debuts, but they are not. It’s still early on, relative to their on-screen careers in NXT. However, you look at them in the ring, and you have to think that the dream eight woman tag match that would have them team up with Baszler and Rousey is a long way off.

Overall highlights:

I was not a fan of the match, but you can see Dominik Dijakovic has the look and the power to be something big.

Gargano and Ciampa in any capacity is good. Aleister Black adds to that and makes things even better. Main event was an enjoyable one.

After the final bell:

Knowing what we know now, it is a bummer to see Tucker Knight and Otis Dozovic moving up. Heavy Machinery is (or was) a very prominent and fan-favorite team, but they are on to bigger (and hopefully better) things. I just hope that they work out on the main roster, unlike several NXT graduates who have gone before them (Vaudevillains….Enzo and Cass….The Ascension).

All in all, still the best hour of wrestling that WWE offers.

Results:

Io Sharai and Dakota Kai defeat Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke

Dominik Dijakovic defeats Aaron Mackey

Heavy Machinery defeated two jobbers

Johnny Gargano defeats Aleister Black

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